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S&B Cribs: Goat House talks football and friendship

The+Goat+House+crew+from+left+to+right%3A+Ryan+Slager+19%2C+Vinny+Pavoni+19%2C+Kevin+Gubner+20+and+Jeff+Keele+19%0APhoto+by+Rachel+Byerly-Duke
The Goat House crew from left to right: Ryan Slager ’19, Vinny Pavoni ’19, Kevin Gubner ’20 and Jeff Keele ’19 Photo by Rachel Byerly-Duke

By Alanis Gonzalez
gonzalez@grinnell.edu

Hidden in the alleyway just behind the houses on East Street sits a small, sky blue house. This house is so hidden that even Google Maps was completely boggled trying to reach the destination, seemingly wanting to go in a large and rhetorical 40-minute circle to arrive at the destination. With a little detouring and investigating, the front door to 827 East Street, or better known as “Goat House,” is found just down a small dirt path.

Goat House in any given year is home to members of the College’s football team, and this year it is home to four residents: Kevin Gubner ’20, Jeff Keele ’19, Vinny Pavoni ’19 and Ryan Slager ’19. Although this is the first time all four are living together as a group, they’ve been playing together on the football team their entire College career.

When asked how they were getting along, Slager said, “Well I think we’re all getting along pretty well, you know, it’s a chill space. We’re not really here that often ’cause we’re playing football and stuff, and we have homework to do so we’re not too social over here ’cause we just don’t have that much time, but right now it’s pretty cool.”

“I’ve lived with Slager before, our sophomore year and then this summer, so I’m used to all his crap,” Keele said. This of course triggered a thunderous laughter from the group, exemplifying their playful and brotherly bond.  With their fun yet laid-back nature, it’s not hard to see how these four ended up living together.

Goat House seems to deliver the unexpected. “Man Cave” is what most might imagine Goat House to embody, with sports gear, a lazy boy, red solo cups littering the floor and the smell of lingering cologne. But upon visiting, neither the phrase nor the imagery seems to fit. Walking into Goat House, one can hear rock music flowing through the speakers. Upon entering the living room, visitors will catch sight of flags from various countries hanging on the walls, with empty bottles displayed in built-in shelves. The vibe coming off of the house is still that of athletes, but the house remains comfy and welcoming.

Why is it called “Goat House?” In the middle of Iowa, a name like that could very well be literal. However, when asked this, the group simply chuckled before Pavoni said, “The inspiration came from a show called “Blue Mountain State,” which is a TV show about [a] college football team.”  The college football team’s mascot in the TV series is a goat, hence the name “goat house.” The house is reported to have been called that since the show aired in 2010. “It’s nothing like this … it looks way better in the show.” Pavoni remarked. Regardless of whether Goat House embodies its namesake, Goat House has its own Grinnellian charm.

The group ended their interview with a strong statement. Goat House’s members want to make clear that the space was open to all, athlete or non-athlete alike. “It’s really open for anyone. We don’t just have athlete-only parties, we send campus-wide emails, spread it to everyone,” Keele said.

Although farther and more hidden from campus than some of the other houses, Goat House is not one that should be dismissed. All four residents are amicable and friendly. A visit is sure to be worth the extra 11-minute walk from South Campus. With a win last Saturday against the Trinity Bible College Lions, (a win that entailed a whooping score of 46-0), this school year is looking up for the Goat House players.

The Goat House crew from left to right: Ryan Slager ’19, Vinny Pavoni ’19, Kevin Gubner ’20 and Jeff Keele ’19
Photo by Rachel Byerly-Duke
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